The necessary condition for the performance of this duty is that we fulfill all that which is the requirement for loving him. We all know that loving the Ahle Bayt (as) is obligatory. Affection for them is a part of our faith and a condition for acceptance of our deeds. Many traditions have been recorded for this, but there is special emphasis for the love of Imam az-Zaman (aj). This can be proved from two aspects:
Human nature is designed in such a way that the love for those who care for us goes deep into our hearts. As mentioned in a hadith: The Almighty Allah revealed upon Musa (as): ‘Make Me loved among My creatures and make My creatures eligible for My love.’ Musa (as) asked Allah how it was possible? He said, ‘Invite their attention towards My bounties, gifts, kindness and mercy, so that they begin to love Me.’
In another tradition in Darus Salam quoting from Qisasul Anbiya through his own chain of narrators from the Holy Prophet (S) it is mentioned that he said: Allah, the Mighty and Sublime revealed to Prophet Dawood (as): Love Me and make Me lovable among My creatures. Dawood (as) asked: O my Lord, I love You; but how do I make You lovable among Your creatures? He (Allah) replied: Mention to them My bounties upon them; when you mention them, they will love Me.
In Majalis of Sadooq (r.a.) through his own chain of narrators it is narrated from Ibne Abbas that he said:: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: Love the Almighty Allah from the view of His bounties that He has bestowed upon you and love me for the sake of the love of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and love my Ahle Bayt for the sake my love.1
As we have often mentioned in every section, that one of the favors of the Imam of the Time (aj) upon us is that all the bounties that we receive from the Almighty Allah are due to the sake of the Imam only. Therefore we are duty bound to acknowledge his right upon us that we should love him. Rather our nature is kneaded of his love.
Sayyid Muhaddith Bahrani has reported a tradition through Nomani that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “The Almighty Allah revealed on me on the night of Me’raj (ascension): ‘O Muhammad! If one of My slaves worships Me so much that he dies in it, but denies the Wilayat of your (Ahle Bayt), I would put him in Hell.’ Then He said, ‘O Muhammad! Do you want to see your successors whose Wilayat is obligatory upon the people?’ ‘Yes’, I said and I was ordered to stand up.
As soon as I moved forward I saw Ali Ibne Abi Talib, Hasan, Husain, Ali Ibne Husain, Muhammad Ibne Ali, Ja’far Ibne Muhammad, Musa Ibne Ja’far, Ali Ibne Musa, Muhammad Ibne Ali, Ali Ibne Muhammad, Hasan Ibne Ali and Hujjat-e-Qaim (aj), whose countenance was more brilliant among them. I asked Allah who they were? The Almighty said: These are the Imams (as) and this is Qaim (aj), He would make My halaal as halaal and My haraam as haraam. He shall take revenge from My enemies. O Muhammad! You love him because I love those who love him.’”2
I say: This tradition lays special emphasis on the love of Imam az-Zaman (aj) even though love of all Imams (as) is Wajib on the people. This is due to the following reasons:
1. Love and recognition of His Eminence cannot be separated from the love and recognition of the other Imams (as), but the converse of this is not true (because it is possible that one may love and recognize the other Imams but that he has no love and recognition of His Eminence). On the basis of this, if one loves the Imam of the Time (aj) truly and recognizes him, it implies that he has perfect faith.
Supporting this point is a tradition mentioned in the 9th volume of Biharul Anwar quoting from Fadail, from Imam Ali Reza (as) from his forefathers from the Messenger of Allah (S) in which he has mentioned the names of the Holy Imam (as), till he said: One who wants to meet the Almighty Allah in a perfect condition of faith and good Islam should have the Wilayat of Hujjat, the Master of the Age, the Awaited one.
Thus they are the lamps of darkness and the Imams of guidance and the banners of piety; one who loves them and has their Wilayat; for him I guarantee that the Almighty Allah would admit him in Paradise.3
2. Islam’s domination over all world religions and Muslims’ supremacy over all the peoples will take place at the hands of His Eminence as mentioned in Part Four. In the light of reason and religious texts, it necessitates that we should love His Eminence.
3. As mentioned in some traditional reports, the Imam of the Time (aj) is superior to all the Imams after Amirul Momineen (as) and Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (as) as mentioned by Sayyid Bahrani in Ghayatul Maram in chapter twenty-three quoting from Nomani through his own chain of narrators from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) from his forefathers that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: Allah chose Friday from among all the days, the month of Ramadan from among all the months, Shab-e-Qadr from among all the nights and from the people He chose the prophets, and from the prophets, He chose the messengers and from the messengers He chose me and He chose Ali from me and from him He chose Hasan and Husain and from Husain He chose the successors so that they may keep away the false interpretation of Qur’an and attention of the ignorants and the ninth of them is their hidden and apparent and he is their superior most.4
Also supporting this point is the import of the statement of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) quoted in Biharul Anwar: The Imam was asked: Has the Qaim taken birth? He replied: No, and if I live upto his time I will spend all my life in his service.
In the chapter of the Letter ‘N’, in the traditional report of Abbad bin Muhammad Madaini it is mentioned that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as) said: “I prayed for the effulgence of Aale Muhammad and the foremost of them…” And this matter will also be emphasized in the merits of weeping in separation of Imam az-Zaman (aj).
If it is said: This contradicts that which is mentioned in the 9th volume of Biharul Anwar where it is narrated from Zaid Shahaam that he said: I asked Abi Abdullah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (as): Who is superior, Hasan or Husain? He replied: Indeed, the excellences of the former of us reach to the excellence of the latters of us and the excellence of the lasts of us reaches to the excellence of the formers of us and each has an excellence. I asked: May I be sacrificed on you, please reply to me in more detail.
By Allah, I have not asked except to learn from you. He replied: We are from a tree, the Almighty Allah created us from a single essence. Our excellence and knowledge is from the Almighty Allah and we are the trustees of Allah on His creatures and those who call the people to His religion, the veils or veil bearers between Him and His creatures. O Zaid, shall I enlarge upon it further? He replied: Yes, He said: Our creation is one, knowledge one, excellence one and all of us are one for Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. I said: Tell me about your number. He replied: We are twelve persons, same as we were around the Arsh of the Lord at the beginning of our creation. The first of us is Muhammad, the middle of us is Muhammad and the last of us is Muhammad.5
In reply we will say: There is no contradiction between this tradition and the one that preceded it, because this tradition shows the unity of their essence and that they were created from one Noor and that they are one in knowledge and excellence as other traditional reports are also seen in this regard and they do not contradict the fact that some of them are superior to others due to some specialties of excellence, like we have traditional reports that vouch for the superiority of Amirul Momineen (as) over all the infallible Imams. And it is one of those matters, the knowledge of which must be left for the Imams and it does not merit us to debate over these topics; the Almighty Allah is all-knowing and one who saves from deviation.